Community boards to stay after public support

ZARYD WILSON
Last updated 12:00 13/11/2012

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The Rangitikei District Council has backed down on its proposal to scrap the Taihape and Ratana community boards after a strong reaction from the public.

The council had proposed to scrap the district's two boards in favour of more cost-effective community committees, which it believed could do roughly the same job.

However, public submissions and two petitions against the proposal swayed the council, which voted at yesterday's meeting to keep the boards.

"It was a very vehement response from the community," Mayor Chalky Leary said.

Ratana Community Board deputy chairwoman Audrey Williams, who presented an oral submission to the council last month, was pleased with the outcome.

"I've never seen the people come out in so much force," she said.

Ms Williams said the Ratana community initially had not realised a switch to community committees would save ratepayers money but she was happy to see the continuation of the boards for now.

The Ratana Community Board will have four members with the addition of an appointed councillor who will carry voting rights.

The Taihape board will have two councillors.

The Taihape board costs its ratepayers $28,962 to service while the Ratana board costs $11,635.

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- Manawatu Standard

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